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Legislative Memo

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BILL:

S.3958-A Seward / A.10373 Weprin

  Support

SUBJECT:

Tax Credit for Small Business Health Insurance

 

S.3958-A Seward / A.10373 Weprin

DATE:

June 18, 2008

 

The Business Council supports this legislation, which amends State tax law to provide a tax credit for the purchase of health insurance by sole proprietors and small businesses. At a time when New York's employers - small businesses, in particular - are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain and purchase affordable health coverage for themselves and their workers, the tax credit would provide these employers with an incentive to do so by reducing their financial burden.

The cost of providing employee health coverage has been identified as the top policy priority of Business Council members.  Faced with the rising cost of health care and health insurance, those employers that provide coverage to their workers may be forced to shift more of the cost to their workers or drop coverage altogether. Then, as fewer New Yorkers are able to afford health coverage, the number of uninsured New Yorkers rises.

Under this legislation, the small business employer would be allowed a credit against the corporate franchise, personal income, bank or insurance tax equal to five percent of health insurance premiums paid by the small business employer in the first year, and 10 percent in the second and subsequent years.

The tax credit would provide additional offsets to the costs borne by employers, thereby encouraging the continuation of coverage for employees through employer-sponsored policies and the extension of coverage to employees through employers who currently do not offer health insurance.

The Business Council recommends the passage of S.3958-A / A.10373.